Woman carries neighbor out of burning house

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 8:22 AM CDT
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LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WGAL) – A Pennsylvania woman is being called a hero after she saved her neighbor from a house fire Monday morning.

“I noticed that there was smoke coming out of his windows and his door,” Katrina Aviles said.

Aviles also noticed her elderly neighbor was still inside.

“All of the neighbors, we all love him,” she said.

He was struggling to get out, so she ran to help.

“And I put his arms around my neck and I carried him onto my back, and I told him, ‘We have to go,’” Aviles said.

He grabbed hold but then asked Aviles to go back.

“So I ran back into his house,” Aviles said. “He had oxygen tanks in there, and I heard them starting to pop. So I ran back out of the house. I told him, ‘I can’t get your oxygen.’”

Aviles feared the fire would get worse.

“I was terrified,” she said. “I was terrified I wasn’t going to be able to carry him the whole way.”

East Lampeter Township police got there in minutes and helped take the man to safety.

They also helped firefighters get a jump on the flames.

“The volunteer world, sometimes we’re a little understaffed, a little light, but we made it happen,” said Scott Hershey with the Lafayette Fire Company.

Firefighters said they think an electrical malfunction in the homeowner’s oxygen machine may have actually started the fire.

“It was tough to watch, especially with him beside me,” Aviles said.

But Aviles is grateful that her neighbor should be OK, and is hoping he’ll be back home soon.

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